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Bruins fall 4-1 to Avalanche

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
DENVER (AP) -- Vitaly Kolesnik stopped 20 shots in his NHL debut, and Alex Tanguay had a goal for the third straight game and added two assists to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.

Milan Hejduk, Brett McLean and John-Michael Liles also scored for Colorado, which won for the fourth time in six games.

Marco Sturm scored his third goal in four games since being traded from San Jose with Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart for Boston captain Joe Thornton.

Kolesnik certainly didn't make it easy on the Bruins in what could be the start of a shakeup for the Avalanche.

Colorado called up the 26-year-old player from Kazakhstan on Tuesday after becoming frustrated with the spotty play of goalies David Aebischer and Peter Budaj.

Aebischer, the Avalanche's top goalie to start the season, has a 3.37 goals-against average and was pulled after allowing four goals on 16 shots in the first period of a 6-4 loss to Buffalo on Sunday.

Budaj, a rookie, is 3-4-3 with a .904 save percentage, 0-3 in shootouts and has yet to win in four games at home.

Bringing up Kolesnik could be a sign that the Avalanche are looking to make a deal or it could just be that coach Joel Quenneville and the front office are looking to spark Aebischer and Budaj.

Either way, Kolesnik looked solid, keeping good position in the crease and knocking down some tough chances through traffic.

He was particularly good during a power play midway through the first period, smothering a hard shot from the top with his body, gloving another from the left circle and sticking his skate out just in time to block a rebound. Boston's only goal came with 27 seconds left in the first period, when Sturm slipped behind Colorado's defense for a breakaway and scored off a rebound that tied it at 1-all.

Hejduk scored on a power play in the first period, knocking in his third goal in 18 games to an open net after a shot by Tanguay caromed off someone out front. Tanguay put Colorado up 2-1 midway through the second, holding the puck across the crease and flipping a shot over a prone Raycroft after intercepting a pass from Bruins defenseman Brian Leetch.

McLean made it 3-1 just over four minutes later with an improbable goal, beating Raycroft to the stick side after whirling around near the blue line. Liles scored his seventh of the season midway through the third, one-timing a pass from Joe Sakic past Raycroft's stick side.
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